How to Clean and Disinfect Your iPhone

by

Most of us are touching our iPhones constantly throughout the day, which means the iPhone can be a magnet for germs, dirt, and fingerprints. It's a good idea to regularly clean your iPhone, especially during the flu season and, right now, the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.


Apple has some specific guidelines for cleaning depending on which iPhone you have.

Cleaning iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max

Apple's iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max have a higher water resistance rating than other iPhones, which means Apple can recommend washing them a bit more thoroughly than other iPhones.

  1. Unplug all cables and turn off the iPhone.
  2. Use a soft, slightly damp light-free cloth to rub debris and fingerprints from the display.
  3. If material is still present, use a soft, lint-free cloth with warm soapy water.

Apple instructs people to make sure not to get moisture in the openings of the iPhone during the cleaning process.

Cleaning iPhone XS, iPhone 8, and Earlier

For these phones, Apple does not recommend the step of using warm soapy water for cleaning purposes.

  1. Unplug all cables and turn off the iPhone.
  2. Use a soft, slightly damp light-free cloth to rub debris and fingerprints from the display.
  3. Avoid getting moisture in openings.

These guidelines don't exactly address disinfecting the iPhone (with the exception of using warm, soapy water), and Apple recommends against harsh cleaning products and abrasive materials because these can diminish the oleophobic coating, but there are certain disinfecting products that Apple approves of.

Disinfecting Your iPhone

A simple solution of isopropyl alcohol is an effective way to eliminate illness-causing particulates from your iPhone, and Apple says that it is safe to use either 70 percent isopropyl alcohol or Clorox cleaning wipes on your devices.

  1. With a cleaning spray or 70 percent isopropyl alcohol, moisten a microfiber cloth until it's just damp.
  2. Wipe down the iPhone, front and back, with the microfiber cloth.
  3. Dip a Q-Tip or cotton swab and go over the edges of the iPhone to make sure to disinfect all of the crevices.
  4. Alternatively, take a Clorox wipe that is not too moist and thoroughly wipe the front, back, and sides of the iPhone.

Display cleaning sprays:

It's a good practice to make sure to do a small test spot when using any kind of screen cleaning spray just to make sure it's not causing damage to the iPhone's fingerprint coating.

Cleaners other than isopropyl alcohol and those that are specifically designed for displays should be avoided. Harsh cleaners that contain bleach and other surfactants should not be used under any circumstances.

Cleaning Dust From the Lightning Port

Displays aren't the only part of the iPhone that can become dirty, as dust and other particulates can coagulate in the Lightning port of the iPhone, leading to problems with charging. Luckily, there's an easy fix:

  1. Turn off the iPhone.
  2. Using a toothpick, very carefully remove any visible lint that's in the Lightning port.
  3. You may need a flashlight to get a good look inside the port so that you can see what you're doing.
  4. You can also use the toothpick to clean out speaker grilles and anywhere else dust has accumulated.

Note that the tips that we've provided for the iPhone also work on Apple's iPads. Make sure to check out our how to on disinfecting your Apple keyboard, trackpad, and mouse, which can also be a hotbed for germs.

Top Stories

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

iOS 14 Picture in Picture No Longer Working With YouTube's Mobile Website in Safari [Without Premium]

Friday September 18, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 added Picture in Picture to the iPhone, a feature designed to let you watch a video in a small screen on your device while you continue to do other things on the phone. When Picture in Picture was working with YouTube The YouTube app doesn't support Picture in Picture, but up until yesterday there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched...

Hands-On With the New Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE

Friday September 18, 2020 1:19 pm PDT by
Today's the official launch date for the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which Apple announced on Tuesday. We picked up a couple of the new models and thought we'd give them a quick look for MacRumors readers thinking of ordering a new watch. Apple Watch Series 6 & Apple Watch SE Hands-On! When it comes to design, both the $399 Series 6 and the $279 SE look just like...

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

iOS 14.2 Beta Adds New Shazam Music Recognition Feature for Control Center

Thursday September 17, 2020 3:36 pm PDT by
Apple today released the first beta of iOS 14.2 to developers for testing purposes, and the new update introduces a Music Recognition control for the Control Center. The new feature lets you discover music playing around you and it recognizes the music playing with in apps, even when you're wearing AirPods. Songs pop up as notifications, and you can tap to listen in Apple Music....

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Rumor Report Card: Assessing the Accuracy of Leaks After Apple's Event

Friday September 18, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
Apple hosted its virtual "Time Flies" event this week, where it introduced four new products, including the Apple Watch Series 6, lower-cost Apple Watch SE, a 10.9-inch iPad Air with an all-screen design, and an updated 10.2-inch iPad with a faster A12 Bionic chip. As expected, there were no new iPhones, which are believed to be coming in October instead. Apple also announced that it will be ...

Epic Games Announces 'Fortnite: Save the World' Will No Longer Be Playable on macOS

Friday September 18, 2020 4:50 am PDT by
Epic Games has announced that "Fortnite: Save the World" will no longer be playable on macOS, after Apple terminated Epic Games' developer account. Fortnite has been in violation of the ‌App Store‌ rules since August 13, when it introduced a direct payment option that skirted Apple's in-app purchase system by allowing payments directly to ‌Epic Games‌. Shortly after Epic blatantly...

Deals: Cellular Carriers Introduce First Offers on Apple Watch Series 6 and SE

Friday September 18, 2020 7:43 am PDT by
With the launch of the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE today, cellular carriers have now introduced special offers for these new wearable devices. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Starting with AT&T, if you buy one Apple Watch Series 3, Series...